Pre-Trip Letter on COVID-19
Dear Austin Adventures Traveler,
Hope this finds you well and excited for your upcoming adventure.
During this time of COVID-19, we wanted to share a bit about what to expect from Austin Adventures and what we are counting on you and yours to do before, during, and after your travels. As we see the country begin to open up and people getting out and about, it has become clearer each day as to what we can expect and how we can all do our part to stay safe and healthy. We are excited to see the lead and the level of efforts the airlines are putting forth. It’s reassuring as we all know that’s where your trip begins. We are also watching closely and taking our cues from these air carriers. Without further ado, please read on to learn more about what Austin Adventures expects of you this upcoming summer and also what you’ll be seeing on your trip firsthand.
Before Your Trip:
- Please keep track of who you have been in contact with for at least two weeks prior to traveling. Limit unnecessary contact with people outside of your inner circle. And please, DO NOT TRAVEL if you have a fever or do not feel 100% well. This is a tough one as we know this upcoming trip means the world to you, but it’s just not worth it. If at any time in the last 30 days you have felt less than perfect (or have come in contact with someone of whom you question their health) please speak with your doctor. As testing becomes more available, consider getting yourself tested pre-trip. Again, err on the side of caution. This holds the same for everyone in your party.
- As mentioned previously, the airlines are setting the bar for solid preventive measures. Just watching the effort these carriers are putting forth, we are all feeling comfortable and excited to travel again. Most airlines are now requiring that all customers wear a face mask over their nose and mouth during check-in, boarding, in-flight, and when deplaning. We recommend bringing your own mask if you have one; many of us already have them these days! Also, carry your own 3-ounce hand sanitizer and use it consistently throughout your travels to get to your destination (don’t worry about using it up, we will have plenty more upon your arrival). You might also bring along a pack of “on-the-go” disinfecting wipes to clean your travel space while on airplanes and in airports.
- Consider packing carry-on luggage in order to limit its contact with other luggage. Try to avoid letting flight attendants or other passengers touch your luggage if possible. Use disinfecting wipes to clean your luggage after going through security, and pack only clean, freshly washed clothes for your trip.
- Be of light heart, even if it seems challenging to get to your destination. We have come this far in getting through this, just be happy you are on your way!
What to Expect On-Tour:
- First off, we need to state that we retain the right to refuse services to anyone we observe is ill upon arrival or becomes ill during the trip. In the very unlikely event this happens, we will do our human best to see that the individual and/or individual plus travel companions are well taken care of, gets home, or gets help.
- Unfortunately, the first thing you will notice is going to be the lack of hugs, high fives, and handshakes you have become so accustomed to on your Austin Adventures vacation. You are all an extension to our family, and it’s just going to seem weird to hold back from those awesome public displays of affection. We will start doing our best to practice the new norm of physical distancing we have all gotten accustomed to immediately upon your pick-ups in your host city. Don’t worry too much on this though; there are plenty of other ways for us to share our joy of being together!
- You might expect additional vans or other means of transportation, such as rental vehicles while on tour. We will be evaluating each tour and adjusting the number of vehicles if need be. We are going to ask on trips with more than one vehicle that you stick with the same traveling companions for the week.
- All of our hotels and accommodations have been working around the clock to be ready for our visit. Most, if not all, are opening up fully and are doing deep cleans of the rooms between guests’ stays and are enforcing new round-the-clock cleaning measures for public areas.
- It should be stated that your guides are already experts when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing (we’ve been dealing with norovirus circulating the parks for many years now and have learned a thing or two along the way!) That being said, your guides will be disinfecting the vans each night and keeping everything we use and come in contact with (chairs, helmets, lunch supplies, etc.) sanitized and at the ready!
- When it comes to the dining experience on-tour, we will be following the lead of local restaurants in the area and will likely be enjoying more “takeout” meals for breakfasts and dinners. For lunches, your guides will continue to create those amazing spreads you have all come to love and anticipate, but with a few extra measures in place to help stop the spread of germs. Handwashing stations will be available at lunchtime and hand sanitizer will be available at all times.
- We might have to go against our own sustainability policies with the practice of using more single-use products. Just trust we have your safety in mind and are trying to make the best choices we can when it comes to serving you.
- As always, we will be encouraging you and yours to drink significant quantities of water. You will still get your AA water bottle with your name on it and it’s yours for the trip and to take home afterward. We will make sure we have plenty of clean and safe water to refill at every stop (nothing new there).
What You Can Look Forward To:
- As with every Austin Adventures trip, you can expect fresh air, delicious food, great guides, and scenic vistas that remind us that it’s all worth it. Activities and itineraries will be typical of all past trips – after all, we’re known for getting you off the beaten path and away from crowds no matter when or where you travel.
** Disclaimer **
While Austin Adventures and our partners are taking every precaution possible to avoid transmission of COVID-19 and any other transmittable disease or virus, it’s just not possible or practical to make the claim that you can’t get sick while traveling. That said, you know us and we will do everything in our power to make your personal safety our #1 priority – always have and always will!